In a shockingly horrific act of violence that has sadly become the trademark of ISIS, nine people were killed as they left a church service in Quetta, Pakistan. Close to 60 other people–including children– were wounded in the attack. Approximately 400 people were attending a service inside the Christian church in Quetta. As the crowds began departing the building after the services, two terrorists appeared on a motorcycle and opened fired on the crowd. This triggered a gun-battle in which one of the terrorists was killed by police guards. The other terrorist continued to fire at worshippers and detonated a vest he was wearing that was packed with explosives. The Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in Pakistan initially claimed responsibility for the attack issuing a statement on the IS-linked Aamaq news agency that said two ISIS “martyrdom-seeking fighters clad in explosive vests and carrying machine guns and hand grenades, attacked the church.”
A Recurring Trend in Pakistan
Such attacks have become a recurring trend in Pakistan. So much so that Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christians Association, has stated recently that it has never been more dangerous to be a Christian in Pakistan than it is right now. Part of this is due to the social fabric in Pakistan, Chowdhry stated, “It increasingly looks like ISIS is targeting the Christian minority in particular, for want of better reason, simply because Christians are an anathema, pariahs in their own country,” Chowdhry noted that over two years ago Christians voiced their concerns over the increasing influence of the Islamic State in Pakistan, but government officials ignored their concerns. Recently, Islamic State terrorists attacked Christians as they worshipped at Bethel Memorial Methodist Church. Nine people were killed and at least 50 people were wounded. ISIS has also claimed responsibility for several other attacks in Pakistan over the years.
Relevant Bible Passages
This brutal attack in Pakistan should remind us of the despicable nature of those who carry out such despicable attacks. Even more horrendous is that these terrorists are involved in a religion that many claim to be a religion of peace! As these type of attacks become increasingly common I cannot help but be reminded of the warnings of the coming Day of the Lord when God will unleash His ultimate judgment upon the earth. Passages such as 1 Thessalonians 5:3 “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” In this passage the Apostle Paul is clearly indicating the peril of the last days that will befall those who walk in darkness such as these Islamic terrorists. Paul makes this distinction saying, “But you, brothers, are not in the darkness so that this day should overtake you like a thief. For you are all sons of the light and sons of the day; we do not belong to the night or to the darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 KJV). Even though we, as Christians, belong to the light we can be assured that darker days of persecution await (Cf. 2 Timothy 3:12), Paul reminds us that not even the violence of “peril or sword” can “separate us from the love of Christ” (Romans 8:32). Yet, knowing that even darker days are on the horizon, we should enter into steadfast prayer for the situation in Pakistan.